As with backcountry boots and bindings, the gear that’s best for going uphill isn’t always the best for going down. It’s the same with biking. Or it has been. Teva’s new Pivot bike shoe could change that.
An all-mountain clipless-compatible flat shoe, the Pivot climbs well, hike-a-bikes well, and gives you full confidence on the descents whether you’re clipped in or not. Part of its magic is a small but stiff composite midsole. Teva engineers shrank the midsole to save weight and make the shoe more comfortable to walk in, but they did it with minimal compromise to your pedaling efficiency. While the Pivot isn’t as light as some cross-country specific shoes, guaranteed it’s lighter than whatever flats you’re riding now.
The sole of the shoe is a pedal-gripping Spider 365 Rubber with inverted lugs, perfectly sticky whether you’re in the air or on the ground, with nothing to get caught or hung up on your pedals when you need to ditch. Cleat screws insert from inside out through a metal plate built into the sole, not the standard bottoms up. That means cleats are easy to replace when they wear out—the screw heads aren’t so beaten and battered from the wear and tear of walking on them that they can’t be removed. And—there’s no shimming or filing the shoe sole in order to get your cleats to interface properly with your system.
The Pivot laces, and then gets cinched shut with a broad piece of Velcro that keeps those laces out of your chain rings, while also giving you some solid midfoot stability. It does everything well, whether you’re Strava-ing the climb, or airing off big piles of dirt on a descent. Just shy of a pound for men’s size 9.
Available July 2013, $150, teva.com.